iKON‘s Junhoe recently uploaded a photo of a gift that he received from Takeshi Kitano, a famous Japanese comedian and director.
A fan left a comment underneath the post, asking him to take the photo down as Takeshi Kitano had allegedly said disparaging comments about Korea in the past. Junhoe responded by cutely telling the fan to stop “telling [him] to do this or that“.
One netizen uploaded a screenshot of Junhoe’s original comments that he allegedly deleted. The comments showed Junhoe asking why he should delete his post when he simply admires the man as an artist.
Korean netizens began criticizing Junhoe for how he handled the fans’ comments and for his relationship with Takeshi Kitano, who is a controversial figure in Korea.
- “A fan just wanted to warn him in case of a controversy… but he made it a controversy himself.”
- “I’m so embarrassed.”
- “He’s often talked about how he’s a fan of Japanese culture and writers on Instagram and V Live, and I laughed it off because it’s his preference. But it’s blown up into this. Just a week before their comeback ㅜㅜ Look at what you’ve done.”
- “Wow I’m disgusted. This f*cker is trying to ruin his own country.”
- “Wow he’s f*cking crazy ㅋㅋ I’m not going to promote iKON’s new song;;”
- “Junhoe needed to be born in North Korea. Then he wouldn’t have even been able to go outside ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ”
Back in the 2000’s, Takeshi Kitano was quoted of claiming that Korea was a country that disputed facts for money and a thief who “stole” Dok-do (Liancourt Rocks). Both topics are highly sensitive to Korean citizens due to the two countries’ history where Japan invaded Korea back in 1910-1945.
“[Korea] is a shameless country that causes quarrels by bringing up controversies regarding the distortion of Japanese history books and the Senkaku Islands dispute, all for the purpose of getting money from Japan.”
— Takeshi Kitano
“Why should we promote a drama from the country that stole [Dok-do] from us?”
— Takeshi Kitano
Soon after the controversy arose, Junhoe took down the original post and made a public apology on his Instagram page.
“I’m sorry. I liked him as an actor so I didn’t know about the other information. I was talking comfortably with the fan because they feel like friends, but I didn’t know it would become like this. I am very sorry. I will be more careful in communicating in the future. I apologize for making people worry.”
Just a couple of hours after his first apology, Junhoe uploaded a hand written apology letter, going into more detail about his intensions and how he regrets his actions.
“Hello, this is Koo Junhoe.
I was filming a broadcast with iKON just moments ago, so I had only written a quick apology. I am deeply sorry for causing worry to the fans who’ve always supported and loved me even though I’m lacking.
The fan simply made a suggestion because they were worried for me, but I failed to comprehend the situation carefully. I mistook it like a conversation with a close friend and thought lightly of the situation. I soon realized my lacking self and became very embarrassed.
I am very sorry..
I really regret giving a light-hearted reply to the fan who was thinking of my best interest. I will take this as a lesson learned and do my best to become a more mature and sincere Koo Junhoe.
I once again bow my head and apologize sincerely.
From, Koo Junhoe.”
Soon after the controversy arose, many of iKON’s Japanese fan events and schedules were cancelled. Fans suspected a relation between Junhoe’s posts and the cancellations, but YGEX did not mention anything about Junhoe in their announcements.